The Oxford Dictionary doesn’t mince words.
“Redskin — a North American Indian. DATED, OFFENSIVE”
You never hear anyone use the word now in any other context than identifying a National Football League team, the Washington Redskins.
Soon, you may not even hear that.
“’We came up with a couple of names — two of them I really like,’ Redskins Coach Ron Rivera said Saturday, one day after the team announced it is undergoing ‘a thorough review’ of the name the franchise has had since 1933,” The Washington Post reported.
Rivera declined to reveal the possibilities but said he believes the most important criteria for a new name is that it is respectful of Native American culture and traditions and also is a tribute to the military. He indicated Snyder agrees with that sentiment. Warriors could fit the bill.
On his podcast Friday, The Team 980’s Kevin Sheehan said he had it “on pretty good authority” that the leading contender for the replacement name is Warriors.
“I don’t think that’s a reveal by any stretch,” Sheehan said. “I think people do know that the Redskins have marked Washington Warriors just in case and that this has been the way. … I would bet big money on the Warriors being the new name for the football team.”
The Post listed a slew of “other potential names,” including:
Redtails — “The Redtails nickname was used by the Tuskegee Airmen, the nation’s first African American aerial combat unit, who broke the color barrier during World War II,” the D.C. paper said.
Dwayne Haskins Jr., the new quarterback for the Washington team, supports the name, writing on Twitter: “I like the redtails.”
I like the redtails 🤔 https://t.co/DLSWsUcldp
— Dwayne Haskins, Jr (@dh_simba7) July 3, 2020
Pigskins — A football is sometimes called a “pigskin” because they were originally animal bladders covered with leather and then inflated. Additionally, the offensive line of the Washington team has long been called the “Hogs” in honor of the huge linemen during the 1980s and early 1990s, who helped the team win three Super Bowl championships.
Americans — The name would dovetail with Washington’s Major League Baseball team, the Nationals. “Well, you’ve got the Nationals. What about the Americans?” Kevin Gover, director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian, said in 2013. “You know in the 17th and 18th centuries when a European writer referred to Americans, they were not talking about the colonialists. They were talking about the Native Americans. And that’s how they were referred to. Even scientific literature at the time comparing the different races said, well, you’ve got Africans, you got Asians, you got Europeans and you’ve got Americans. It’s a much more inclusive term. So if you had a Native American image but the team was called the Americans, that starts to feel like something more like an honor. You’re not being singled out; you’re being included.”
The Post included a list of “honorable mentions, including names submitted by readers: Rainbows, Dee Cees, Swamp, Red Jackets, Rough Riders, Veterans, Federals, Monuments, Sentinels, Defenders.”
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